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Toms finishes strong in return from difficult loss

A year after one of the toughest losses of his life, David Toms hoped returning to TPC Sawgrass would help jump start his 2012 season and it did. It just took 59 holes to get going.

At one-over par through five holes of his final round at the Players, Toms holed a wedge for eagle from 123 yards on the par-4 sixth. A couple hours later, he'd made the biggest move up the leader board on Sunday, closing with a 65 to jump into the top five at the time of signing his card.

"I was so far back, and I was just trying to have a decent finish," Toms said. "So, you know, no reason why I shouldn't shoot at a flag. What's the difference in 44th and 34th? That's the way I was playing out there, and I just happened to play a great round of golf."

Last year, Toms lost this championship in a playoff to K.J. Choi when he three-putted on No. 17. He bounced back to win the next week at Colonial, though, and wound up having his best year on the PGA Tour since 2005. But his seven-under-par total on his final 13 holes this week will probably earn him just his second top 10 of 2012.

Related: Golfers quotes about No. 17 through the years

Toms' score matched the best round of the week. Ian Poulter and Martin Laird shot opening 65s on Thursday and Bob Estes matched that number Sunday as well, proving players can still go low despite a final-day course setup that features 17 hole locations just four paces from the edge of greens. Of course, it's a little different for those playing later in the day.

"I think guys teeing off now, or whenever they tee off, you would take par on every hole no matter what's going on out there, because at the end of the day, you would be in pretty good position," Toms said.

-- Alex Myers
 
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